By Andy Young

The first six months of 2016 has seen the value of Scotch whisky exports to Australia increase, but volume has fallen slightly.

Australia has cemented its position as one of the top 10 value markets for Scotch, with export values increasing by 17 per cent, from £37.4m ($64.76m) in the first half of last year to £43.7m ($75.67m)in the first half of 2016. Volumes fell slightly, by four per cent from 13m 70cl bottles in the first half of 2015 to 12.6m in the first six months of 2016.

Globally the first six months of 2016 saw an improved performance for Scotch whisky exports, according to data published by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Despite continued economic and political volatility in some markets, Scotch Whisky's global export volume grew by 3.1 per cent over the first half of the year, with the equivalent of 533 million 70cl bottles shipped overseas, up from 517m bottles in the first half of 2015. This was the first growth in volume since the first half of 2013.

The value of shipments was down slightly by just one per cent over the same period to £1.70bn ($2.94bn) from £1.71bn ($2.96bn) in the first six months of last year. This drop was smaller than the decline in value of almost three per cent experienced in the first half of 2015, another sign of improvement for the category.

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "The first half of 2016 was marked by an improving Scotch Whisky export performance, suggesting a strengthening in global consumer demand compared to the last couple of years.

"The industry-wide emphasis on craftsmanship and provenance, backed by investment, means that Scotch exports are well-placed to grow in the future, appealing to consumers in both mature and emerging markets."  

The global market for Single Malt Scotch Whisky continued to grow, with export value increasing by six per cent to £431m and volume up three per cent to 49m bottles. Single Malts now represent a quarter of total shipment value, with exports more than doubling in value over the last decade.

Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky continues to represent the lion's share of exports. While volumes increased by one per cent to 362m bottles, export value was down four per cent to £1.16bn, which may reflect the growth in Single Malts.

The United States remains the largest value market for Scotch, with £357.4m ($618.87m) worth of exports in the first half, while France is the largest volume market taking 90.9m 70cl bottles.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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